President of Russia Vladimir Putin: In 2023, seven million people have been able to get better housing, isn’t that so? This means 3.2 million households. We have also helped people move out of almost 2 million – 1.8 million – square metres of dilapidated housing. This effort helped 104,400 people. In terms of improvements, we have 7,031 public spaces. Housing construction is what matters the most: we have commissioned 83.6 million square metres.
Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities Irek Fayzullin: This is the data for today. We will achieve record-high performance by the end of the year, Mr President.
Vladimir Putin: How much?
Irek Fayzullin: Completed single-family homes totalled 49.7 million square metres and apartment blocks reached 33.9 million square metres. We expect to reach 50 million in the latter category for an overall total in the range of up to 104–105 million by the end of the year, I think.
Vladimir Putin: You say 104 million square metres by the end of the year. Is that so?
Irek Fayzullin: By the end of the year.
Vladimir Putin: That would set a record.
Irek Fayzullin: One more record indeed, Mr President.
Vladimir Putin: We need to thank and congratulate the construction sector.
Irek Fayzullin: Mr President, you had a meeting with them this year to congratulate them on their achievements, but I will convey your greetings to them.
Indeed, this is a major effort. We have learned a lot in the process, although we would never have succeeded if it were not for the support we have been receiving under all these programmes. These includes mortgages and the urban development potential we have been creating on as a team.
As of today, we have already improved 421 million square metres of territories, which exceeds last year’s performance. This year, we saw record numbers in terms of new projects. We already have 4,000 new buildings, which goes to say that we have been able to achieve positive momentum in this regard.
Vladimir Putin: We have stated that 3.2 million households have been able to get better housing. How many of them used mortgages to do that? About 1.5 million maybe?
Irek Fayzullin: Mortgages account for 90 percent of these transactions. What I mean is that today mortgages are clearly the main tool for building and selling housing and a major development driver.
The improvement of territories is another much-needed programme. As you know, this includes two Far Eastern tenders that we held this year, and we have organised eight tenders dealing with small historic cities since 2017.
The creation of comfortable urban environment is also greatly needed today. We have already overhauled 75,000 courtyard territories, as well as 33,000 public spaces, including parks, public gardens and embankments.
Of course, this remains in high demand. Most importantly, we have been voting on public space projects for three years. We started doing this in 2021, and nine million people voted at the time. In all, 10.7 million voted throughout 2022. This year, 14.2 million people voted for specific sites. If in 2021, we were still more or less making preparations for the voting process, by the following year, people were already demanding that we implement specific construction projects at pre-set sites, rather than anywhere else.
Vladimir Putin: It is very good that people are involved in this work. This guarantees that we will implement projects that they need.
Irek Fayzullin: Yes. This is why the Comfortable Urban Environment national project is so popular.
Mr President, we have accomplished a lot in terms of relocating tenants from rundown and dilapidated housing. You raise and support this issue all the time. Since 2019, we have also relocated 576,000 people from such housing. As you will remember, in 2021, I promised that we would relocate 130,000 families, and everything is proceeding as planned. We are virtually completing this programme in 2023; 14 regions have already completed this process, and 36 others will do the same in 2023.
Of course, we are now drafting a new programme. We are currently streamlining its main parameters, although 14 regions have already launched this work.
Of course, the housing and utilities infrastructure is an ambitious challenge, and everyone has to deal with this. Of course, worn-out networks cause accidents, in the first place. Nevertheless, we have achieved certain results. In 2022, we noticed that system-wide efforts have reduced the number of accidents, not by much – a little, but still. However, we are supposed to upgrade at least three percent of networks under the utilities infrastructure modernisation programme. We have almost one million kilometres of utility networks nationwide, and we have to invest in them, no matter what.
Mr President, a separate task that you assigned to the Ministry of Construction is to coordinate the work in the new territories. We are trying to successfully fulfil the goals that have been set. These goals are not easy to achieve, but we have managed to ensure the restoration of facilities as soon as civilian builders were able to enter the new territories. As of today, almost 8,400 buildings or facilities have been restored.
There are plans to rebuild blocks of flats, social and cultural facilities, schools and kindergartens. All this on a very aggressive schedule; the contractors are in place. A completely new system of construction is being established through the working group that you created by Executive Order, headed by Marat Khusnullin. The contractors are working actively.
We consider this the largest megaproject. We have learned a lot, we are fulfilling the goals, so I believe that this year we will also reach our goals.
Individual housing construction. You asked me a question about the law in August. The bill has been submitted. I think that the conditions that we have for multi-unit residential buildings will also be implemented for individual housing. The demand is very high; the COVID times specifically have shown that the desire to live in individual housing has increased compared to what it was before. That is, today, according to estimates, 67 percent want to live in a house of their own.
We are creating the conditions for this. The new mechanism has already been worked out with DOM.RF in an experimental, trial mode: one billion rubles of profit have been allocated for individual housing construction. This will work very efficiently starting in 2024. We believe that this is a new reserve for promoting housing construction in our large country.
Vladimir Putin: Look, in 2021 there were 373,000 houses, and in 2022, 401,500 houses already.
Irek Fayzullin: Yes.
Vladimir Putin: Will we increase the number of blocks of flats built this year?
Irek Fayzullin: Mr President, we can increase it, but this will probably be too much. We have been building a lot of these. This year, people have already received 600,000 flats.
In other words, the volume of work is growing; workers are actively involved, and the regions are involved. Therefore, we believe that the mortgage programme for individual housing construction should be spun off as a separate project and separate support measures need to be adopted. At this point we have developed the house kits and standard design programmes with DOM.RF, approved them, and we will continue with this.
And we also need to increase the share of timber construction. This is also a serious task.
Vladimir Putin: Major repairs on apartment buildings.
Irek Fayzullin: You launched the major repairs programme at the State Council meeting in Kazan in 2007. The programme got underway in 2008 and has certainly been in great demand. The volumes depend on the region. Overall, 93 million square metres have been repaired this year alone. The programme covers a total of 724,000 buildings.
Vladimir Putin: Are you working on this together with the regions?
Irek Fayzullin: We certainly do. In fact, we keep in touch with the regions on every programme. Mr Khusnullin holds weekly conferences [with the regions] on every programme, and I hold meetings on Wednesdays. The main budget fund managers are also involved, because the comprehensive Construction programme…
Vladimir Putin: Until 2027.
Irek Fayzullin: Until 2027, of course.
The Construction programme is currently being moderated by the Ministry of Construction. Every Wednesday, we confer with all the federal executive bodies that have construction projects; all the regions are present, and we review each project. We use this red-yellow-green status system – a visual model where you can immediately see who is in the red, yellow or green zone. All the projects that we have planned will certainly be completed.
This is an outline of the situation, Mr President.
Vladimir Putin: Good. Thank you.